There was no jumping up and down after UConn won its 89th straight game on Wednesday.
There was no dancing in the locker room and no shouts from the Huskies about being just a game away from tying their own NCAA Division I record for consecutive wins following the 90-45 rout of East Carolina.
UConn’s players say they don’t see the point of celebrating something they expect to do.
“It’s not being cocky,” said forward Napheesa Collier, who led UConn with 21 points and seven rebounds. “If you know you’re a good team, you need to play like that. ”
Gabby Williams added 16 points, Katie Lou Samuelson had 15 and Kia Nurse chipped in with 14 for UConn (14-0, 2-0 American), which now has the two longest winning streaks in Division I college basketball history.
The win broke a tie with the John Wooden’s UCLA men’s program, which won 88 straight in the early 1970s. That program won 10 national titles. Geno Auriemma’s women have won 11 championships, including the last four.
“I just want them to enjoy this,” Auriemma said. “Because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime…well, at least I thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime (thing). They’ve already done something by winning tonight that people thought would be impossible to do and it’s happened twice now. I don’t even know what to say. ”
Saniya Chong hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to open the scoring and the Huskies never trailed. UConn closed out the first half on a 12-2 run that made it 45-20 and took their first 40-point lead in the third quarter on a pair of Natalie Butler free throws that made the score 68-28.
The Pirates have never come within 40 points of the Huskies, losing the seven games they have played by an average of 47.3 points.
East Carolina coach Heather Macy said wants her players to realize it’s not about the score when you play UConn, it’s about how you are playing.
“The goal is how many five minute segments can you win and as we progress though the game not to look up there at the daunting task of having a 40-point deficit,” she said.
Kristen Gaffney led East Carolina (9-6, 0-2) with 12 points.
The Huskies outscored East Carolina 52-20 in the paint and outrebounded the Pirates 41-23.
UConn has won 136 of its last 137 games. Their only loss during that stretch came by two points, in overtime, at Stanford on Nov. 17, 2014.
“We understand that it’s a big thing and we’re excited about it, but we have to focus on what comes next,” said Nurse.
A win next Tuesday over No. 22 South Florida would tie the 90-game streak that Auriemma’s teams set between November 2008 and December 2010.
UConn owns the top three winning streaks in women’s basketball history at 90, 89 and 70 games. The Huskies also had streaks of 47 (2013-15), 35 (1994-96), and 33 games (1996-97). The team is also riding a 31-game road winning streak, which was originally listed by the NCAA as a record. The organization was missing the 34 straight road games UConn won between 2001 and 2004. That string includes a tournament game the Huskies won against Hawaii on the Rainbow’s home court.
East Carolina: The Pirates opened the season 9-3, but have now dropped three straight. Five of their six losses have come by 10 or more points.
UConn extended several other streaks on Wednesday. UConn’s home winning streak now stands at 55 games. The Huskies also have won 117 straight against unranked opponents, and 292 of their last 293 games against foes outside the Top 25. The program is now 300 games over.500 since the start of the 2008-09 season (312-12). UConn also has gone 863 games without losing two in a row. The Huskies are 57-0 after a loss since March, 1993.
“We generally don’t lose games that we’re not supposed to lose,” said Auriemma. “We don’t lose to teams that are not as good as we are. We don’t show up and just go through the motions and mail it in and have an upset one night. The fact that hasn’t happened is probably the most amazing thing. ”
UConn: The Huskies will try to tie their record 90-game winning streak against South Florida next Tuesday in Hartford. The Bulls will be the eighth ranked opponent the Huskies have faced this season. The Huskies also beat No. 25 Kansas State, which wasn’t ranked the teams met last month.
East Carolina: The Pirates hope to snap their losing streak when they return home to face SMU on Saturday evening.